Alcatraz Line up: 2022
Rochester-based psych stoner band King Buffalo are a three-piece consisting of vocalist/guitarist Sean McVay, bassist Dan Reynolds and drummer Scott Donaldson. In 2013 they burst upon the scene with Orion (2016), a debut characterised by jam sections and a lack of standard song structures. Successor ‘Longing to Be the Mountain’ (2018) is an enthralling, slightly more mellow psychedelic/stoner/krautrock album that never panders to the clichés of these genres. In 2021 King Buffalo announced their ambition to release three albums in just twelve months’ time. The first part of the intended trilogy, ‘The Burden of Restlessness’, tells the story of frustration born from long months forcibly spent indoors. Also inspired by the Covid-19 era touring ban, ‘Acheron’ also dropped in 2021. Named for the river of woe from Greek mythology, Acheron was recorded in a cave in close proximity to a stream, which is audible in various places throughout the record. Consisting of just four lengthy tracks, the album’s dynamics are very different from the first part of the trilogy. Less fickle than its predecessor, the build-up of the tracks is much slower, hypnotic and almost dreamlike. While they were unable to complete the trilogy by the end of 2021, expectations for part three are high due to the exceptional quality of the first two instalments. Definitely one to look forward to.